Joel Osteen made a statement on Facebook after coming under fire on social media for not opening his doors to flood victims. Osteen also gave a list of places to go to get help with a note that the church is inaccessible. Photos of the flooded church are below the copy.
Do you agree with what the church is doing or do you think they should do more to help victims of Tropical Storm Harvey?
STATEMENT FROM JOEL OSTEEN:
Our hearts are breaking as we see the images of the damage and destruction in our city and the surrounding areas from Hurricane Harvey. We are praying for everyone’s safety in Houston and Texas. As a community we can help each other get through this storm. We appreciate your prayers, both for our city and for Lakewood Church. We are working diligently with the city of Houston to mobilize our many volunteers at shelters around the city as well as various other points of need in and around the Houston area. In addition, we are working with Samaritan’s Purse on major relief efforts. In the days ahead, the needs in our city will be great and we are mobilizing even more volunteers to help those who have been devastated by this storm.
While no one could have anticipated how severe this storm would be, we are thankful for the heroic efforts of our police officers, fire department, first responders, and the many volunteers across our state. We are also thankful for the City of Houston and Harris County officials who were wise enough to prepare accordingly, both in rescue preparations and in sheltering the displaced. We are honored to support them in their efforts.
Victoria and I believe we will all come out stronger and filled with a greater faith than before. We love you and continue to pray for all of Houston and Texas.
To join with Lakewood Church and Samaritan’s Purse in helping our community recover, please visit LakewoodChurch.com/Relief.
– Joel & Victoria Osteen
Not everyone is buying Osteen’s story however. This Houston resident posted a video he took where he is allegedly filming the Lakewood megachurch parking lot and the interior from outside the locked doors to the church:
While we can neither confirm or deny that the Lakewood megachurch was flooded or even damaged by the floods, DeLance Brown’s video is very compelling.
Dear Houstonians! Lakewood Church is inaccessible due to severe flooding! We want to help make sure you are safe. Please see the list below for safe shelters around our city, and please share this with those in need!
National Guard Rescue Phone Line: 281-464-4851
Phone line to pick up a group to be taken to a shelter 713-426-9404
Shelters are beginning to open up around the Houston Area for those displaced by the storm.
CITY OF HOUSTON
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas,
Houston, TX 77010
M.O. Campbell Education Center
1865 Aldine Bender Rd.
Houston, Texas 77032
Star of Hope (Houston Downtown)
1900 N. Downing. Residents must have identification in order to enter the shelter.
The Salvation Army (Houston Downtown)
Harbor Light Center for men at 2407 North Main, Sally’s House for women at 1717 Congress Ave. and Family Residence at 1603 McGowen St. for those seeking refuge from the storm.
Star of Hope’s Men’s Development Center
1811 Ruiz St. is offering immediate shelter to any men living on the street and seeking a safe, dry place to ride out the storm. The organization’s women and families shelter is already at capacity.
Calvary Baptist Church shelter is open at 816 North Blair, Cleveland, Texas.
Red Cross has opened a shelter at Living Stones Church in Alvin, at 1407 Victory Lane.
The Salvation Army has opened Conroe’s Red Shield Lodge at 304 Avenue E for those seeking refuge from the storm.
The City of Friendswood Emergency Operations Center has opened the city’s Activity Building, located at 416 Morningside Dr. as an emergency shelter for people being picked up from their homes by the Friendswood Police Department.
Dobie High School
10220 Blackhawk Blvd, Houston, TX 77089
Has been set up as a Red Cross rescue location for families in need of refuge from Harvey. Assistance will be available on the gym side turn around.
Osteen insisted in a statement Monday evening that he and his church are “prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.”
“We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need,” the statement reads.
The statement adds: “Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives.”
PHOTO OF FLOODING IN LAKEWOOD CHURCH:
Lakewood Church also sent photos it says show flooding in and around the building:
PHOTO OF THE OUTSIDE OF THE FLOODED CHURCH:
Read more: ABC News